Self-Editing, A Necessary Evil, I Think

Ah, life would be so much sweeter if I could afford to have someone else edit my material and leave me with only the fun stuff! Not so. It falls to me. And, since it does, I need to be diligent about doing it.

When I first write my manuscript, I put it aside for a few days. When I come back to it, I am shocked that it is not the “perfect” manuscript I tucked away. Someone has surely gone in and sabotaged my work. I could not have made all those punctuation errors, left things unclear, or just written downright boring sentences.

No matter the culprit, it is now my responsibility to re-work the manuscript until it shines.

The first thing I do is read the story out loud. It’s amazing how many errors you can find by doing this!

I check punctuation and run on sentences (and is used way too much!)

I check to see if I have used adverbs and adjectives instead of the more powerful nouns and verbs.

I check to see if I have made the reader understand what I have imagined in my head.

I tend toward being a perfectionist so, if I allow myself, I can spend months reworking something. I have learned to LET IT GO! My work will never be perfect in my eyes so I have to draw a line and say, “I’ve done all I can and I’m going to send it out.”

While self-editing is not my favorite thing to do in the field of writing (OK, it’s down there at the bottom of the heap), I know it is vital that I do it if I plan on receiving any acceptance letters. It is also a great way to become better at my craft.

So, I guess I’ll just quit fighting it and get on with the job. Who knows, I might even learn to like it. NOT!

Self-editing because I know I have to, Gloria


2 responses to “Self-Editing, A Necessary Evil, I Think

  1. shirleyshibley

    Gloria, this is such a good article on self-editing! I kept nodding my head the whole time I read it–yes, that’s the same for me. Yet you said it a lot better than I did!


  2. Shirley,tThank you! Glad to know I’m not alone in this!!


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